Gdańsk – St Brigid’s church

History

   From 1350, in the Old Town of Gdańsk, there was a chapel of penitents dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. It consisted of two floors, a stair tower and an entrance from the east. In 1374 in Gdańsk, on the way from Rome to Vadstena in Sweden, a funeral procession with the mundane remains of Saint Brigid of Sweden stopped. The sarcophagus with the relics was placed first in the St. Mary’s church, and then moved to the penitential chapel. Stored relics began the great cult of Saint Brygid, which resulted in the creation of the monastery in 1394 and the construction of the nave of the main church in 1396. Its eastern wall touched the chapel of Maria Magdalena. The monastery buildings were situated between the northern wall of the church and the Radunia Canal. In the eastern part, the Sisters Bridgettines lived and in the western part, the Fathers Bridgettines.
   
The second stage of the church construction, that is the erection of the northern nave, was completed around 1416. At that time, the original external wall of the nave was demolished and a row of pillars was placed in its place. In the wall of the newly built aisle, an ambulatory for nuns, which is a characteristic architectural feature of the Bridgettine churches, was incorporated. The western wall of the Maria Magdalena Chapel was also removed to form a chancel arch. In 1512, the southern aisle was built with a row of tall windows and an entrance from the south and west. Along with the addition of successive aisles, the chancel and sacristy were also erected.
   
Recent significant changes in the silhouette of the church of St. Brigid brought the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1673 a bell tower was erected in the southeastern corner of the church. Due to the secularization of the monastery, the monastery buildings were demolished in the 19th century. In 1945, that is after the liberation of the city, as a result of the devastation made by the Soviet army, the church of St. Brigid was seriously damaged.

Architecture

   It is a gothic building, consisting of a three-nave, six-span, hall corpus, with shallow chapels from the north and south, between the internal buttresses. The chancel is rectangular, three-span, with the sacristy from the north. It was located atypically from the west, which was consistent with the indications of Saint Bridget. The chancel on the outside is ended with buttresses, in the nave they have been drawn into the interior. The chancel and individual naves of the corpus are covered with separate gable roofs. The interior is illuminated by large pointed, four-sided windows. The corpus contains net vaults with an eight-arm star motif supported by octagonal, inter-nave pillars. The chancel has diamond vault. Most of the antique furnishings of the temple were devoured by fires.

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bibliography:
Webpage wikipedia.org, Bazylika św. Brygidy w Gdańsku.